It’s horrifying and the stuff of nightmares to still have wars, where countries think to kill innocent beings of all types is justified, just because of countries, power, egos and Nato (Green policy is simply to get rid of it, this gets rid of the issue altogether). If you feel helpless, here are some resources that may help a little, until the world begins to get some common sense, and is closer to being run by adults. Also see how to help animals caught up in wars.
We urge all people to remember our shared humanity, so that we don’t fan the flames of conflict. Keep believing that peace is possible, even in these troubling times. Our experience of working with local peacebuilders in some of the most conflict-affected countries has taught us that opportunities for peace emerge in the most unusual places, and with the most unlikely of people. We urge world leaders to continue to seek a diplomatic solution to the crisis, and to never give up on dialogue, even if the violence escalates. Peace Direct
Get your media from verified sources. Horrifying images on newspapers do affect, but they rarely inform. Byline Times (an indie newspaper with no donors, it’s only subscription-based and free to read online) is a far better place to get your facts from. Read of the UK’s military exports to Russia and Boris Johnson’s role in not even bothering to investigate Putin’s attempts to interfere in British democracy, largely thought to be due to Russian donors funding the Conservative Party.
Russian oligarchs have been allowed to use London as a ‘laundromat’ for dirty money, while being courted by successive governments and a Tory party happy to accept massive donations. Neil Spencer
Let’s be extra careful that we don’t become unwitting agents in the spread of disinformation. Go slow. Vet your sources. If you don’t want to (or can’t) take the time to verify the information you share, or issue a public correction when you get something wrong – don’t share it in the first place. Good Newspaper
Ideas for World Peace
- Enough Blood Shed is a super book with 101 solutions on facing pages, using solutions that are known to work, as they already are in use, often in places of hate and provocation. The solutions focus on all sections of society including children, schools, educators, activists, women and religious organisations, plus the media, nations, politicians and the global community. Co-author Mary-Wynne Ashford has been a leader in the international peace movement for over 20 years, and Guy Dauncey is a sustainability consultant.
- World Peace: And How We Can Achieve It shows how to strengthen compliance with international law, improve collective action for international peacekeeping, better regulate the flow of arms and hold individuals legally accountable for acts of aggression or atrocity crimes.
- The Oil Depletion Protocol by climate expert Richard Heinberg looks at how to prevent war, by moving to an oil-free society. Nearly all the world wars occur in countries with oil reserves, and this book can help to advert wars, terrorism and economic collapse, while helping the planet at the same time, simply by voluntarily reducing oil production and oil imports, according to his consistent and sensible formula.
- Seeds of Peace is a wonderful organisation that takes teenagers from countries at war (say Israel and Palestine) then introduces tomorrow’s leaders to each other at summer camps, often in different countries. Many arrive wanting to kill each other, and leave as friends.
Move from GDP To Peace Indexes
- Happy Planet Index is a worldwide alternative to GDP (gross domestic product) that instead of measuring the ‘wealth’ of countries based on how much money they make, it includes things like peace, happiness, wellbeing, environmental protection and animal welfare. According to this index, the UK and US are nowhere near the top – the top ranked country is Costa Rica who got rid of its entire army to spend the money on protecting its rainforests and enhancing childhood education. Other top countries are Vanautu (we had to look that up – it’s in Oceania), Colombia, Switzerland and Ecuador. in GDP terms, UK is 5th and USA is 1st. But with the Happy Planet Index, the UK drops to 14th and the USA plummets to 122nd.
- Global Peace Index is the world’s leading measure of global peace, with trends in peace, its economic value and how to develop peaceful societies. Using 23 indicators it measures the level of safety and security, the extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict, and the degree of militarisation. At present, the most peaceful countries are Iceland, New Zealand and Denmark. The least peaceful are Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Libya, Central African Republic, North Korea, Venezuela, Sudan and Russia.
10 Steps to World Peace
10 Steps to World Peace is a wonderful article by an expert on how to create world peace for all countries. Hazel Healy writes that humankind must ditch the military habit, and tackle conflict at its roots:
- Stamp out exclusion – conflict often happens where people can’t get justice or trust the police, and where media promote a ‘them and us’ hate-spreading focus.
- True equality for men and women – there is proof that the larger a country’s gender gap, the more likely violent conflict (more so than poverty, democracy or ethnic-religious identify). When women participate in peace processes, it’s more likely that peace occurs. We know there are peaceful men out there (thank you!), but this is simply a fact.
- Share out wealth fairly. 40% of those who join rebel groups do so, due to poverty. Economic fairness like Fair Trade and closing the gap of rich and poor, helps everyone.
- Tackle climate change – ecological stress tends to bring about conflicts like land and water resources (particularly in East Africa). Dan Smith from arms-control thinktank SIPRI says ‘a functioning climate deal with the greatest peace deal the world could have’.
- Control arms sales. Invest in green banks that don’t make money selling arms. Ban nuclear weapons and make it illegal to possess or use them.
- Make policy changes based on peace, not egos or pride. The world of Trumps and Putins is what drives many wars, simply due to individual egos. End politics for self-serving needs. Boris Johnson may not be a warmonger or a terrorist, but MPs in it for their egos and themselves, contribute towards war on the stage (with stupid phrases like ‘world-beating’ and the ‘special relationship between the UK and US’). Someone going into politics, should always be doing it for the right reasons, whatever their political views.
- Protect political space. Embrace open societies that effectively deal with atrocities in society like murder and torture.
- Fix intergenerational relations. Many acts of war are committed by youths, who revolt against corrupt systems (often run by old-school older men). Not being able to voice frustrations can create a dangerous dynamic (think of China when the young protestors were killed in Tiananmen Square).
- Build an integrated peace movement. Promote peaceful ways of resolving conflict. If office politics are in play, mediators (professional ones) are brought in. So why not for escalating international conflicts? Putin et al are obviously not qualified in professional hostage negotiation or conflict resolution, and such professionals should be the norm (not Boris Johnson or even Emmanuel Macron – they are not trained in how to diffuse wars). Again, this is all ego above expertise.
- Look within. Yoga teacher Steve Ross once wrote ‘World peace starts with you’. If you can’t forgive yourself and others, or think about how to win and lose (rather than just be), then you have work to do (most of us do). Aussie writer Andrew Matthews once asked his dad why people were punching people on TV (his dad replied ‘because they want world peace’). Ecological writer and former Jain monk Satish Kumar once wrote that ‘marching and shouting down the street for world peace is like churning sand to make butter’. If you can’t be peace in your own life, you can’t create world peace. MPs shouting insults to each other over desks in Parliament, can never create world peace. Yet we have MPs of all types yelling at each other about how to create world peace, when they behave like babies having tantrums themselves. Professor Brian Cox says ‘Stop throwing your toys out of the pram, and do your job’. Marilyn Flower has written a lovely and affecting post on how (as difficult as it is) sending love and peace to even Putin, is likely the best way forward, as only love and forgiveness can stop and prevent more wars: ‘if we’re all One, peace is an inside job’.
Peaceful Political Parties
Peace Art (beautiful graphics from a talented Russian artist)
That the dispute between Russia and Ukraine has not been resolved peacefully is the product of 30 years of government failed policies, encouraging expansion of NATO and taking part in wars of aggression alongside the US and other NATO powers, undermining international laws and the authority of the UN. The British government played a provocative role in the present crisis, talking up war, decrying diplomacy as appeasement and escaling arms supplies and military deployments to Eastern Europe. The Peace Party (which would withdraw the UK from Nato and return to the Minsk-2 Agreement.
Other parties with peaceful policies include:
- The True and Fair Party
- The Green Party
- The Animal Welfare Party
- The Alternative (a Danish-started alternative to political parties, more an idea think-tank focusing on world peace, environmental welfare, animal welfare and human rights). From one of the world’s most peaceful nations comes a new alternative to conventional politics:
A party which has the courage to imagine a radically different future. A vital political vision which guarantees that our children and grandchildren will be born into a better world, thatn the one we find ourselves born into.
Use Religions for Peace
Many wars are caused by religions. Religion can be used for peace. One faith with a strong history for world peace is the Quaker movement. Founded by George Fox who was disillusioned with the Church of England, you can download free resources for schools etc on ending arms and drones, learn about conscientious objection and find out more on rethinking security without nuclear weapons, Trident etc (cancelling this would fund practically everything needed to balance the books).
Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset. Saint Francis de Sales
If you don’t know the guy on the other side of the world, love him anyway because he’s just like you. He has the same dreams, the same hopes and fears. It’s one world, pal. We’re all all neighbours. Frank Sinatra
If you want peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies. Desmond Tutu
No two leaves are alike. And yet there is no antagonism between them, or between the branches on which they grow. Mahatma Gandhi